Inside the Middle East's biggest oil and gas conference, and assessing a damaged post-WeWork landscape

ADNOC Dr. SultanADNOC / ADIPEC

Dear Readers,

As the US got caught up in President Donald Trump's impeachment proceedings last week, a different type of history was being made on the other side of the world. It occurred at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), where all the world's top oil and gas executives gathered to sign a blockbuster deal.

The agreement revolved around a new exchange that will enable futures trading on a highly valuable type of crude oil native to the United Arab Emirates, called Murban. The new contracts - expected to start trading in the second or third quarter of 2020 - will be hosted by International Exchange.

Chief executives from BP, Total, PetroChina, Shell, Vitol, Taiwan's PTT, Japan's JXTG, Korea's GS Caltex, and Inpex were on hand to sign up as partners in the deal. They envision the Murban becoming a new global benchmark, slotting in alongside WTI and Brent crude, with a specific focus on serving Asian markets.

Business Insider was on hand to witness the historic accord in person. Here's a first-hand account of the official announcement, the hubbub that accompanied it, as well as the global CEO summit that came after. The following day, another gathering of global executives took place, where top brass explained their backing of the deal. BI was in the room for that as well.

But ADIPEC wasn't all about the Murban exchange. There was also a major focus on innovation and the digitization of oil and gas technology. To that end, the conference had self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun - the founder of Google's secretive lab called Google X - deliver a keynote address.

BI was able to sit down for a private conversation with Thrun beforehand. He shared his artificial intelligence-driven vision for the future of the oil and gas industry, and offered a glimpse into how his mind works.

To recap, here's BI's full coverage of ADIPEC:

Going beyond that, here's a rundown of our other main coverage from the last week. It includes a grim look at what WeWork's recent failures mean for similarly unprofitable unicorns, a strategy for beating your peers during a market meltdown, and tips for avoiding so-called "value traps" in the stock market.

WeWork is just the 'tip of the iceberg.' Here's why one market expert thinks Silicon Valley's business model 'is at the beginning of a massive unraveling.'

Vincent Deluard, the director of global macro strategy at INTL FCStone, says Silicon Valley's overriding business model is fundamentally unsustainable as it stands right now.

In an interview with Real Vision, he explained why he thinks WeWork's contagionlike effect will make it harder for companies to IPO.

READ MORE HERE >>

A fund manager who's crushing nearly all of his peers breaks down his unique strategy for continuing to outperform during a market crash

Conventional wisdom suggests investors should hide out in "defensive" corners of the market during a downturn - like utilities and telecom stocks.

But Joshua Bennett, a portfolio manager of the Alger subsidary Weatherbie Capital, has an alternative approach. In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, he laid out his favorite strategy for outperforming peers during a market sell-off.

READ MORE HERE >>

The top researcher at a firm managing $89 billion told us the 3 ways he analyzes whether a cheap stock is set for a surge, or if it's a trap

Value stocks have made a comeback in recent months after underperforming the broader market throughout much of the 10-year bull market.

Michael Mullaney, the director of global markets research for Boston Partners, shared with Business Insider his best strategies for identifying value plays - ones that don't fit the traditional mold of a "value trap."

READ MORE HERE >>

Other good stories from the investing realm:

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